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Subject: Suggestions for Additional Pacific War based Games rss

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Jared Gray
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Howdy yall,

I recently just ordered the second edition of Empire of the Sun from the GMT fall sale (alas I have not received it yet. Gonna start camping by the mailbox at this rate!)and I also read up on the Battle of Midway over dinner the past few nights. These two have combined to put me on quite the Pacific War kick. I just started to peruse some articles on the Guadalcanal campaign today.

Because of my new found Pacific War kick, I was hoping to graciously ask the collective knowledge of the community for suggestions to satisfy this current Pacific War obsession in other wargames.

Since I think I have the strategic level of the war covered with Empire of the Sun (unless of course yall think I need more!), I was curious about treatments on the operational or grand tactical level. As I understand it, operational treatments are difficult due to the way the war was fought in the Pacific. What I'm really interested in are treatments that simulate naval combat, carrier air attacks, and the like that were exhibited at the Coral Sea, Midway, or the naval battles around Guadalcanal. Would games of that nature happen to exist and what would yall suggest? Also would there be any games regarding the Guadalcanal campaign (sea and land) or simulating some other portions of the island hopping campaigns after Guadalcanal?

Any games with a good solitaire rating are also highly interesting, since that's how I play! I just want to thank everyone ahead of time for the suggestions! Now to keep reading the rules for EOTS and waiting for my copy!
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Ek T
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Matt Kiriazis
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spektacles wrote:
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The Geek Image:

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Lance McMillan
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Since you say you're specifically looking for solitaire games, these two (which unfortuantely are out of print and somewhat difficult to find) are probably your best options:

Tokyo Express
Carrier
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John Steidl
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I would second all these. Pacific War is excellent for operational scale and is supposed to be reprinted at some point by Nuts!

Tokyo Express and Carrier are both solid solitaire experiences.

Ironbottom Sound is a classic 2-player at the tactical scale of Tokyo Express. A 3rd edition was just published by Revolution Games.

Flat Top is another 2-player classic.

The 2-player games have hidden info that makes them a bit more challenging to play solo, and they tend to be expensive if you can find them.
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Judd Vance
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Arkimede wrote:
I have recently bought EotS and although I have not played it yet, I know that
will always stand in my Definitive Top Ten.
Your search for operational Pacific games starts and ends here. This is pretty much the final word. It solos ... ok...you aren't going to have a lot considering that the battles required searching for the enemy and even the Guadalcanal ground games often employ hidden movement.
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Peter Collins
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Pacific Victory is a fun block game treatment of the topic. Victory in the Pacific is the old-school classic.
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Colin Raitt
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Pacific Theater of Operations is similar to Pacific War


Both have hidden task forces, search rolls, separate counters for every battleship, carrier and their air wings. Divisions and brigades for ground units. Fighter and pilot quality are very important. I prefer PTO as attacks bounce off armour rather than wearing down big ships gradually and the soviets can join in. Pacific War has more small scenarios though.
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Tony Doran
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I would second the recommendation of Pacific Theater of Operations. I would only add one caveat. The game permits players to mass carriers into monster stacks. This was not possible historically because of the nature of communications and control at the time. It was rare for more than six or seven carriers to operate as a unit. As game tactic it makes history almost impossible to duplicate. Fun game to play, though, even with this problem.

If you want to correct the problem, get the living rules for Advanced PTO from the Decision website. Optional rule 11.45 "carrier coordination". Solves it very effectively. I actually prefer the Advanced PTO game to the earlier version, as it corrected a number of issues. I think the APTO is more historically accurate. But the original is an excellent game, fun to play, and takes less time to play.
 
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Jared Gray
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WOW! Thank you all so much. So much to chew on. I've just done a cursory glance of all the games and they all look like what I'm looking for.

From my quick glances at the individual pages, Carrier looks like a solitaire experience I would love, especially with the random generator to increase replay value. But like you said, it is quite the expensive game. Any suggestions on how to get it a little cheaper besides watching out for ebay and the BGG marketplace?

Pacific War looks like a great game and now that you graciously suggested it, I see a reprint is in the works. Any update on a projected timeframe for the reprint to be released that yall know about or should I just get a original copy and wait for the reprint??

PTO looks quite interesting and I'm glad it has living rules to make the game more historical (I'm a history graduate, so games that are more historical in the rules aspect are ones I'd jump all over). Any other fixes to make it more historical? Should I get the brand new APTO or just get PTO and use the living rules? Does it play faster than Pacific War? Appears to be a little cheaper as well from a glance at the BGG marketplace entries.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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I would check the living APTO rules before buying.

http://decisiongames.com/wpsite/e-rules/

Personally, I would stick with the SPI/TSR version.
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Tony Doran
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If you try to use all the living rules from APTO you might find it difficult to play with the old map and counters. The scale used for sea movement changed between the games and there were wholesale changes in the counters and other rules. The new game has 1680 counters, while the earlier one has just 1200. I suggested getting the older game and just using the new optional carrier coordination rule because the new rules as a whole are far more complex. The old rulebook had about 60 pages, while the new one is fully 160 pages long.

But if you really (as I do) prefer greater detail and historical accuracy, then just get the new game. I have both and continue to play both (with the earlier game needing many house rules). The earlier one is a fun game, while the later one is a far more accurate simulation, which is more fun for me, but not everyone's cup of tea.

Just a matter of what you prefer.
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Jared Gray
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Oh, I completely understand what you were saying now. The original version has really piqued my interest and using some of the more historical based rules from the updated version by Decision.

Does anyone know of any update on a projected timeframe for the reprint of Pacific War to be released or should I just get a original copy and wait for the reprint?? Also what would be different avenues to try to find a version of carrier for a little cheaper besides ebay and the BGG market?
 
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Rick Thompson
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jcg218 wrote:
Also what would be different avenues to try to find a version of carrier for a little cheaper besides ebay and the BGG market?
You could also check the Marketplace over on Consimworld or the Wargamers Marketplace on Facebook. But really, for this title, you may just have to be patient and watch for it. As it's been out of print for 20+ years and is a grail game to many, it can be hard to find a copy at a lower price. But not impossible. I found my copy on eBay several years ago for about $65. It's a players copy, not an unpunched collectors copy, so it wasn't demanding a premium price. And I couldn't be happier...

As for other Pacific games, one that I've discovered recently that scratched my itch is The Fires of Midway. It is a card based recreation of the 1942 carrier battles that hits a good balance between ease of play and theme. Searching is abstracted, but done in a way that you do feel like you are looking for the enemy. As for combat, there's a tension in the air when a strike occurs, both on the giving and receiving end.

The Fires of Midway also has a campaign game and two hypothetical scenarios (Wake Island and the "Final Countdown"). And it does have a solo module that you would need to download and print off a couple of playmats (available in the Files section). There's also a couple of videos that show gameplay if you want to take a look (which I'd suggest for any game you're considering, if a video is available).
 
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Gary Selkirk
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PACIFIC AT WAR by XENO is also a good solitaire Axis & Allies type game.
 
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